Utilitarian objects including door locks, flutes / whistles, backrests / stools / seats, a game board, gourds / calabashes / containers / receptacles / vessels, a slit drum, combs, a hairpick, furniture, 
all in the collection of antique, classical, ethnic, ethnographic, ethno-tribal, native, ritual, traditional, tribal, so-called "primitive" art from Sub-Saharan black Africa

Clicking on a small photo brings you a bigger photo.

The attributions of the origin of the objects is based on their stylistic characteristics and/or on the data provided by the seller and/or experts, but of course certainty cannot be reached.

In the following, the objects have been arranged according to their probable origin.


To start with: African objects, with an origin that is not clear

Terracotta vessel with a fine wooden stopper


Smooth, old patina.
Delicate face carved on the stopper.

Probably from Congo or Uganda in Central Africa.

Bought from a collection of tribal art objects in Antwerpen, Belgium.

Not available.







 


Burkina Faso, in West Africa

Heddle pulley

Has been collected in Burkina Faso by the previous owners.

Not available.







 

Iron figure; animal shape


Probably a hyena figure used by the Lobi people.

From a dealer in traditional African art in London,  UK.

Not available.







 


Burkina Faso & Ivory Coast & Mali, in West Africa

Flutes /  whistles


All custom-mounted on custom-made, black metal stands.

Bought form collections in Germany and The Netherlands.

Not available.









 

Tubular whistle / flute


Wood

Bought in 2015 from traditional African art collector, dealer and expert Thomas Waigel in Germany.

Not available.

http://www.forafricanart.com/Lobi_whistle_flute_2559.html :
Whistle flutes such as these were used across Burkina Faso by the Lobi and other neighboring tribes during mask dances, hunting and war. They are played either singularly or in unison with other instruments. The flute player would hold the wooden Flute close to the lower lip and blow across to create a high pitched sound. These whistle flutes are often used by men and boys during ceremonies and masquerades, forming an integral part of social life, providing musical support to important rites of passage.









 

Similar objects:

ethnixtribalarts:

Price: US $80.00
Country of Origin: BURKINA FASO
Materials: WOOD
Approximate Age: 20 - 30 years
Dimensions: 10.0" by 1.5" by 1.0" OR 26.0 cm by 3.5 cm by 2.0 cm
Weight: 59 grams; 0.13lbs; 2.1 oz









 

http://www.hamillgallery.com in 2015 :
In Burkina Faso, flutes from the Mossi, Lobi and Bwa people are played to accompany balafons and drums during ceremonies and mask perfomances. They can be played singly or in groups. A flute plays a set of notes with a complex but very repetitive tune.
Some flutes were used for different purposes by hunters.

MOSSI Flute 13
6.25"
$150
This Mossi flute has been vetted as authentic, with evidence of age and use.






 


MOSSI Flute 10
11"
$200
This Mossi flute has been vetted as authentic, with evidence of age and use.







 


MOSSI Flute 16
7"
$200
This Mossi flute has been vetted as authentic, with evidence of age and use.









MOSSI Flute 17
8.5"
$200
This Mossi flute has been vetted as authentic, with evidence of age and use.






 


MOSSI Flute 19
5.5"
$200
This Mossi flute has been vetted as authentic, with evidence of age and use.
There is some wear damage on the top end.
The price includes the stand.








 


MOSSI Flute 12
8"
$300
This Mossi flute has been vetted as authentic, with evidence of significant age and use.
The price includes the stand.









 


MOSSI Flute 15
8.25"
$300
This Mossi flute has been vetted as authentic, with evidence of age and use.
There is some damage on the top end. (See detail.)
The price includes the stand.









 


MOSSI Flute 4
17.5"
$1200
This Mossi flute has been vetted as authentic, with evidence of significant age and use.
The price includes the stand.
There is a snake or lizard skin around the bottom.









 

http://www.bruno-mignot.com/galeries/flutes :


·  Ethnie : Lobi

·  http://cdnb.bruno-mignot.com/galeries/themes/bm01/img/icon/hpblock_puce.png   Pays d'origine : Burkina Faso

·  http://cdnb.bruno-mignot.com/galeries/themes/bm01/img/icon/hpblock_puce.png   Zone de collecte : Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou

·  http://cdnb.bruno-mignot.com/galeries/themes/bm01/img/icon/hpblock_puce.png   Ancienneté présumée : circa 1950

·  http://cdnb.bruno-mignot.com/galeries/themes/bm01/img/icon/hpblock_puce.png   Matière principale : bois

·  http://cdnb.bruno-mignot.com/galeries/themes/bm01/img/icon/hpblock_puce.png   Aspect de surface : d'usage

·  http://cdnb.bruno-mignot.com/galeries/themes/bm01/img/icon/hpblock_puce.png   Etat apparent : très bon état

·  http://cdnb.bruno-mignot.com/galeries/themes/bm01/img/icon/hpblock_puce.png   Etat de conservation : dans son jus

·  http://cdnb.bruno-mignot.com/galeries/themes/bm01/img/icon/hpblock_puce.png   Appartenance : ex collection particulière Europe

·  http://cdnb.bruno-mignot.com/galeries/themes/bm01/img/icon/hpblock_puce.png   Test laboratoire : non testé

·  http://cdnb.bruno-mignot.com/galeries/themes/bm01/img/icon/hpblock_puce.png   Hauteur, en cm : 23

·  http://cdnb.bruno-mignot.com/galeries/themes/bm01/img/icon/hpblock_puce.png   Poids, en grammes : 109

·  http://cdnb.bruno-mignot.com/galeries/themes/bm01/img/icon/hpblock_puce.png   Socle : non

La flûte est un instrument de musique à vent et à embouchure, formé d'un tube creux percé de plusieurs trous ou de tubes de longueurs différentes. Il rentre dans la catégorie des aérophones. Les flûtes en bois africaines sont toujours façonnées sur ce même schéma, un tronc central, muni de poignées ou excroissances, l'embout étant plus large que la pointe effilée sur laquelle le joueur positionne ses doigts. Les trous sont percés au fer rougi.








 

http://www.art-of-africa.com :
On pourrait dire que les forgerons et / ou les sculpteurs Marka sont les plus habiles designers de flûtes de l'Afrique de l'Ouest. Les lignes qu'ils ont su tendre, les formes ouvertes comme un col serré qui viennent épouser les lèvres du musicien, le fût percé et droit, se rétrécissant vers l'extrémité; tout démontre la dextérité et le goût sûr de ces créateurs d'instruments de musique. Celle-ci est très simple mais son dessin est très abouti. Bois blond. Patine douce. A l'extrémité un trou transversal pour passer la cordelette de fixation. Son grave sans orifice percé en partie basse.








 

http://www.pba-auctions.com/index.htm :

28/03/11
Pierre Bergé & associés
EMail : contact@pba-auctions.com
Résultat : 250 €
Lot n°468
Flute montée sur socle.
Burkina-Fasso, vers 1920.
H_39 cm









 


28/03/11
Pierre Bergé & associés EMail : contact@pba-auctions.com
Résultat : 300 €
Lot n°467
Flute montée sur socle.
Burkina Fasso, vers 1920
H_60 cm









 

http://www.africaandbeyond.com/index.html :

Price: $295.00
Flutes are played to accompany the music of balafons and the rapid beat of drums during ceremonies and mask performances. They are played in groups of 5 to 7 or more men. Each flute is played in a set of notes with a complex but very repetitive tune. This a delightful small flute with three holes for change pitch. It has a rich brown patina and is 5 inches long. Because the languages in this area are tonal, flutes can imitate the tonal patterns of spoken phrases, as well those in songs.








 

 

Price: $1,400.00
In Burkina Faso, West Africa, the Mossi play flutes to accompany the music of other instruments during ceremonies. Each flute is played in a set of notes with a complex but very repetitive tune. Because the languages in this area are tonal, flutes can imitate the tonal patterns of spoken phrases, as well those in songs.









 


Price: $1,200
In Burkina Faso, West Africa, the Mossi play flutes to accompany the music of balafons and the rapid beat of drums during ceremonies and mask perfomances. They are played in groups of 5 to 7 or more men. Each flute is played in a set of notes with a complex but very repetitive tune. Because the languages in this area are tonal, flutes can imitate the tonal patterns of spoken phrases, as well those in songs. 16" inches tall.
NOTE: When displayed on the included custom made stand, this flute reaches a height of 17.25"









 

http://www.karlssonandwickman.com/tribal-art-products/mossi-flute-burkina-faso :

Mossi flute, Burkina Faso
Stunning Mossi flute, with old, native, pewter and reptile skin repairs.
Nice shiny patina.
27.5 cm, 10,8 in.
650 €








 

www.tomkinscollection.org :

Flute Mossi
20th century
Wood
H. 48 cm TC 264
Provenance: Allan Steele, New York, 2000; Noble Endicott, New York









 

https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/objects/147320/Whistle:

Whistle
 
Arts of Africa
 
CULTURE Possibly Mossi
MEDIUM Wood, leather
DATES late 19th-early 20th centuries
DIMENSIONS 19 5/8 x 3 3/4 x 1 3/8 in. (49.8 x 9.5 x 3.5 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 1991.227.29
CREDIT LINE Gift of Eileen and Michael Cohen
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
CAPTION Possibly Mossi. Whistle, late 19th-early 20th centuries. Wood, leather, 19 5/8 x 3 3/4 x 1 3/8 in. (49.8 x 9.5 x 3.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Eileen and Michael Cohen, 1991.227.29. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE group, 1991.227.27_1991.227.24_1991.227.30_1991.227.17_1991.227.29.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph

 

https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/objects/147313/Whistle :

 

Whistle
 
Arts of Africa
 
CULTURE Possibly Mossi
MEDIUM Wood, snakeskin?
DATES late 19th-early 20th centuries
DIMENSIONS 12 5/8 x 2 5/8 x 1 1/8 in. (32.1 x 6.7 x 2.9 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 1991.227.22
CREDIT LINE Gift of Eileen and Michael Cohen
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
CAPTION Possibly Mossi. Whistle, late 19th-early 20th centuries. Wood, snakeskin?, 12 5/8 x 2 5/8 x 1 1/8 in. (32.1 x 6.7 x 2.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Eileen and Michael Cohen, 1991.227.22. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE group, 1991.227.28_1991.227.1_1991.227.22_1991.227.3_1991.227.15.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph










 

http://www.randafricanart.com/Lobi_flute_whistle.html 2015:

Lobi flute or whistle
Made in different sizes to serve different purposes, small flutes are used when hunting, while the medium and large flutes are used in village festivals and to honor deceased elders. Often zoomorphic in form, human shapes are also seen.









 

http://claudeafrique.pagesperso-orange.fr/flutes%20mossi.htm 2015:
 








 

Anthromorphic whistle / flute / sifflet



Wood with nice patina.

Bought from a collector in The Netherlands in 2017.

Not available.

Similar whistles:


7 FLÖTEN, LOBI
Burkina Faso. H 13 cm bis 30 cm.
hammer price: CHF 2.142 = (€ 2.004.-)
http://www.artauctions.ch/hoehepunkte/auction/25.06.2005/








 


Burkina Faso, Bwa
wood, shiny dark brown patina, in anthropomorphic shape ("with arms akimbo"), wrapped with leather and stripes of fur, fixed by plant fibre, min. dam., small missing parts, fine cracks, acrylic base;
these flutes are played to signal the beginning of communal hunt and were used in battle too.
H: 28,5 cm
H: 11.2 inch
Provenance: Emil Storrer, Zurich, Switzerland
Literature: Roy, Christopher D., Land of the flying masks, München 2007, ill. 431
Sold for: 260 €
Read more: http://www.tribal-art-auktion.de/en/catalogue192/d1_283/#ixzz41OU1xaNZ










 


MOSSI FLÖTE
Burkina Faso
H 20 cm.
Provenance:
- Emil Storrer, Zürich (1980).
- Schweizer Privatsammlung, Zürich
sold for CHF 243 (€ 223)








 


Sold at auction in France in 2015.









 


Flute en bois - Lobi - Burkina Faso - Aerophones
Was for sale: 112 Euro
2015








 


Offered for sale in an auction by Ader in France, in 2016, but was not sold.
lot 309
400 - 600 €
BWA-NUNUMA (BURKINA FASO)
Flute
Beau travail de scarifications. Patine brune. Utilisée dans les rites agraires.
Hauteur : 24,5 cm
Provenance : collection Durieu, Paris.









 


Offered for sale in an auction by Ader in France, in 2016, but was not sold.
lot 312
500 - 800 €
BWA-NUNUMA (BURKINA FASO)
Flute de grande taille, anthropomorphe, élégamment scarifiée.
Patine brune.
Hauteur : 35 cm
Provenance : collection Durieu, Paris.









 


Vente pas Courante :
Art de la Table, Verrerie, Arts d’Asie et d’Afrique, Mobilier et Design, Objets d’Art, Jouets...
le 20 Février 2016 à 15h00
FauveParis,
75011 Paris
Lot 68
Estimation : 350 € / 500 €
Gurunsi Flûte anthropomorphe
En bois et cuir gravé sur sa partie supérieure et décoré d’une bague en cuir en son centre
H. 29,5 cm
Provenance : Collection privée, Paris








 


Auction De Zwaan in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2016
Lot#3413
Hammer price EUR €180
Burkina Faso, Mossi, houten fluit, in antropomorfe vorm met uitgesneden geulen versierd in geometrische patronen.
35 cm.








 


Auction 1081, African and Oceanic Art, 05.04.2017, 14:00, Brussels
FOUR MOSSI FLUTES
Lot 21
Estimated price: €500 - €800
Result: €434
Burkina Faso
9.5 cm. to 36 cm. long
Provenance: Josef Herman, London
https://www.lempertz.com/en/catalogues/lot/1081-1/21-four-mossi-flutes.html








 


Burundi

Gourd vessel with pyrographs


Added to the collection in 2012.
Gift a lady living in Burundi.

Not available.









 


Cameroon = Camerun

Comb


Wood and bone.
On a professionally made, black, metal stand.

Bought from a private collection of combs from Africa in France, in 2013.

Available: 30 + 30 = 60 Euro








 


Congo = DRC  = République démocratique du Congo = Repubblica Democratica del Congo, formerly Zaire

Mangbetu / Mangbutu people in the Northern part of DRC

Slit drum / slit gong / trommel / spleettrommel /  tambour a fente / Schlitztrommel / nedundu / nedungu  / cowcow / tamtam / tam tam / idiophone

98 cm
bought on an auction of ethno-art in Antwerpen, 2010-12

not available

On a professionally made heavy, black iron stand since 2013.





Les tambours, qui occupent une place de choix dans le monde musical africain, jouent un autre rôle : ils marquent les temps forts, soulignent un évènement de grande importance.
Il en existe de deux types : les tambours à membrane, comme le célèbre djembe et les tambours à fente.
Dans cette dernière catégorie, mentionnons en particulier les tambours mangbetu , toujours réalisés dans une seule pièce de bois.
Les plus imposants servent à communiquer sur de longues distances alors que les plus raffinés sont associés à la figure royale et présentent une forme de demi-lune simplement rehaussée par quelques clous de laiton.
http://www.wittert.ulg.ac.be/fr/expo/2012/artafricain_dp_adultes.pdf in 2012









see also a drum for sale in Boston: http://www.hamillgallery.com/ONDISPLAY/OnDisplayWood/MangbetuSlitdrum103.htm
"Drums are among the most important art forms in Africa, used both as a musical instrument and as a work of sculpture significant in many ceremonial functions, including dance, rituals, story-telling and communication of messages. Slit drums, with hollow chambers and long narrow openings, resonate when struck."








 

see also the drum sold at auction for close to 20,000 Euro:  http://www.kollerauktionen.ch/images/Auktion/A153_w225/A153_w225highres/1721_1.jpg








 

see also the drum sold at Sotheby's 2007 September:
"Considered by many as sculptures, African musical instruments, ‘sounding forms’, are well represented it the Marc and Denyse Ginzberg Collection. The chordophones, illustrated by a Ouganda harp with eastern influence (estimate: €1,000/1,500), the membranophones (instruments producing a sound from the vibration of a membrane) the drums in the form of an hourglass; the idiophones such as the superb Mangbetu drum of the purest form (estimate: €40,000/60,000). "
sold for more than 100,000 Euro










 

Lega=Balega=Warega people from eastern DRC, ex-Zaire

http://www.barakatgallery.com /store/index.cfm/FuseAction/ItemDetails/cmdNextItem/21961/ItemID/21961/SubCatID/181/userid/ItemID/PurchaseForm/1.htm :

The Lega people are amongst Africa’s best-known carvers and artists. Currently settled in the Kivu province of the eastern DRC, they believe themselves to be descended from an eponymous ancestor who migrated into the area from what is now Uganda. They are also known as Warega and Balega, based on corruptions of their actual name by neighbouring groups and Arab traders, respectively. They live in small villages and consider themselves parts of distinct lineages, although to outsiders the “Lega” group is a well-defined unit. They are further defined on the basis of their modes of subsistence. The western Lega settled in the forest (malinga), where they rely on hunting and gathering, while the eastern groups live on poor soils, further denuded by their mode of slash-and-burn agriculture.

Lega government is based along the lines of a gerontocracy; and balanced very finely between leading members of different lineages. The Lega believe in a trio of gods named Kinkunga, Kalaga and Kakinga, and that when humans die they will enter a subterranean afterworld known as Uchimu. Social life is structured by three main social institutions: family and kinship (ibuta), circumcision rituals (ibuta) and the Bwami society. Of these, the latter is perhaps the most powerful. It is centred upon the guidance of young people to moral maturity, although it also fulfils a range of other political socio-political, economic and artistic functions. Much of the paraphernalia produced by the Lega pertains to the workings of the Bwami society. Examples include initiation objects – that are sometimes ground away and the resulting dust used as a healing device – isengo (lit. “heavy things” used in healing), binumbi (publicly visible insignia), bingonzengonze (“things of play”) and the large category of sculpted objects/assemblages known as bitungwa. Within the latter there are numerous sub-categories along the lines of size, material, ownership and type. This applies to all manner of objects, especially kalimbangoma and iginga figures. All members of the Bwami own one of these, which is usually cared for, oiled and kept by their wife. The higher the rank, the more impressive the figure. The members of Yananio and the lowest level of kindi own kalmibangoma figures, while the elite members of Kindi and the highest-ranking woman may own iginga (pl. maginga) pieces, which are the most coveted of all initiation pieces.

In general terms, Lega figures are used by members of the Bwami society, who commission the figure with a general description of how it should look (pose, material etc) but who leave the details to the carver. All figures tend to represent aspects of the ideal Lega male – a large forehead, a shaved head (sometimes with a cap) and a straight posture – and are endowed with the characteristics of a Bwami initiate: washed, shining and proud.

 

http://artworld.uea.ac.uk/world-art-studies/africa/cultural-groups-country/lega:

The Lega live in forested country in eastern Zaire. They practise a diversity of craft; carving in wood, bone and especially ivory, pottery, basketry, blacksmithing and the preparation of cosmetic oil and powders. They make a traditional coinage from shells, used particularly for initiation and marriage customs.

The Lega believe in a trinity of deities; two who stand for what is good and creative and one who represents evil and sorcery. Ancestors are the intercessors who can activate the powers for good. Sorcerers and witches activate the power of evil. Divination, always a male technique, locates the source of evil. All women, but few men, are regarded as potential sorcerers.

The Lega have no centralised state or hereditary chief, but each village has its headman. Everyone belongs to an extended patriarchal family, a particular lineage and a clan. The Bwami society, to which both men and women may belong, provides the strength of community and kinship against the forces of evil. Bwami permeates every aspect of Lega activity. It has a hierarchy and grades of membership and rules which also govern all Lega society.

Art works, in conjunction with ritual objects made from animal and forest products, are used in the initiation rites of various Bwami grades. They include masks and maskettes, figures in human and animal form, spoon-shaped objects, miniature knives, sceptres and stools, many of them carved in ivory and bone. They may be insignia of rank or may illustrate virtues and failings and the principles of correct conduct. Many are combined with proverbs and used in songs and dances to illustrate behaviour codes.

It would be misleading to generalise on Lega art style. Faces are usually slightly concave and often egg-shaped or even triangular. Forms are often geometric and linear. Much use is made of tukola (camwood powder) to give a dark red patina to both wood and ivory.
Lega art is very commonly faked.

John Heron Dickson | Dec 1997

Further reading:
Biebuyk, D. 1973. Lega Culture. Berkeley








 

Ceremonial comb


not available anymore; ex-collection

Bought from a collection of African art in Dusseldorf, Germany.

On a new, custom made black metal stand, which replaces the older, black stand on the photos.

Shows 2 heads/masks, which occurs in several statues and combs from the Lega.
For instance:
http://www.bs-kunsthandel.de/ausstellungen/1003/html/070.html












 

Mongo people/tribe

Backrest

not available

decorated with old coins dated 1920 and copper or brass nails
clearly used

bought on an auction of African art objects in Antwerpen, Belgium
 

A similar backrest attributed to the Mongo has also been decorated with coins:
Arts Primitifs & Océanie
le 22 Novembre 2014
Salle des ventes de Chinon, 37500 Chinon
http://www.herbelin.auction.fr/_fr/lot/appui-dos-region-mongo-republique-democratique-du-congo-bois-6927449#.VpOPaVKE8S4
Appui-dos, région Mongo, République Démocratique du Congo Bois, patine d’usage brun-foncé, clous, aluminium. Haut : 23 cm. Long : 61 cm:







 

Suku people

Ritual drinking cup, named coppa


Wood.
Very smooth; probably quite old.

Bought from a collection in South France in 2014

Not available anymore; sold; ex-collection.








 

Similar objects in Museum in Tervuren, Belgium








 


Ethiopia


 

Gourd / calabash / container / vessel


Bought from Zebra gallery in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, in 2015-03

On a sheet of fabric decorated with indigo dye, bought on the market of Conakry, the capital city of Guinee in West Africa.

Not available.








 

Gourd / calabash / container / vessel


Bought from Mursi gallery on Churchill Road in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, in 2015-03.

On a sheet of fabric decorated with indigo dye, bought on the market in Conakry, the capital city of Guinee in West Africa.

Not available.







 

Gourd / calabash / container / vessel


Bought from a gallery in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, in 2015-03.

Not available.







 

Gurage / Gurague people

Turned wooden jar, probably for butter or spices


Bought from a collection in France.

For similar objects (photos with description) see:

Musée Royal de l"Afrique Centrale Tervuren, Belgique/Belgium, Vol. 151
AETHIOPIA, Objets d'Ethiopie: Catalogue de l'exposition "Aethiopia, Peuples d'Ethiopie" Mars- septembre 1996.
1996
142 pages
30 x 21 cm
ISBN 10: 9075894392
ISBN 13: 9789075894394
abondamment illustré en n/b
broché
textes par Xavier Van de Stappen:
--Introduction
--Groupes culturels
421 photos d'objets ethniques, avec description et provenance (ethnie, lieu de récolte) précises :  manuscrits, Icone-polyptyque, croix en argent, appuie-nuque, récipients divers, céramiques, sièges, boucliers, plateaux, trépieds, labrets,  paniers, bracelets et autres objets de décoration personnelle etc...
Le catalogue le plus complet sur les objets d'Ethiopie.
Poids = 700 g

The book by Marc Ginzberg, AFRICAN FORMS, 2000, Skira editore, on p. 58.

Not available anymore; ex-collection.






 

Borana people?

Vessel=container=jug=recipient


Provenance: From a dealer in Adis Abeba, Ethiopia; bought by Johan Visker, Ethiopian art expert, Belgium; bought from him in 2013.

Made from a large gourd/calabash for the vessel, covered with thin sheets of leather and a small gourd for the stopper.
Parts are made of hand-woven vegetal fibers.
Capped with a part of a nice, shiny smaller gourd, which is exceptional and more attractive than stoppers made of woven fiber or red plastic.
The container is decorated with cowry/cauri shells and metal wires.
So this is  mixed-media object that includes/combines numerous media:

This variety of components is exceptional in the sense that most vessels are created with a combination of elements and media, but not with so many united in one object.

Xavier Van de Stappen writes in the book AETHIOPIA (1996) on page 12, that the pastoral peoples/tribes named Arsi, Borana/Boran/Borena, and Gudji/Guji, located in South-Ethiopia, create mixed-media recipients; the metal of the wires can be iron, copper, nickel, lead, aluminum; smoking is used to kill microbes in the interior; the vessels are sealed by using fat or wax. "Les Gudji atteignent  des sommet en matière de melange de techniques."

A vessel made of woven fibers and decorated with metal wire is shown in the book AETHIOPIA (1996) photo 175; the origin mentioned is Arsi people; purpose is/was storing milk; the metal wires are described in French as "fils de fer", that is iron wires.

A vessel made of a gourd with woven fiber parts and decorated with metal wire on top is shown in the book AETHIOPIA (1996) photo 202; the origin mentioned is Borana people; purpose is/was storing milk.

Reference:
Musée Royal de l"Afrique Centrale Tervuren, Belgique/Belgium, Vol. 151
AETHIOPIA, Objets d'Ethiopie: Catalogue de l'exposition "Aethiopia, Peuples d'Ethiopie" Mars- septembre 1996.
1996
142 pages
30 x 21 cm
ISBN 10: 9075894392
ISBN 13: 9789075894394
abondamment illustré en n/b
broché
textes par Xavier Van de Stappen:
--Introduction
--Groupes culturels
421 photos d'objets ethniques, avec description et provenance (ethnie, lieu de récolte) précises :  manuscrits, Icone-polyptyque, croix en argent, appuie-nuque, récipients divers, céramiques, sièges, boucliers, plateaux, trépieds, labrets,  paniers, bracelets et autres objets de décoration personnelle etc...
Le catalogue le plus complet sur les objets d'Ethiopie.
Poids = 700 g

In the famous, well-known book that shows mainly non-figurative objects from the collection of Marc Ginzberg, African Forms (2000), we see a photo on p. 113 of a vessel that is described as a waterproof basket made by the Borana of Ethiopia. "It was tightly woven of twine and then steeped with fat or resinous gum, and decorated with metal wire. It held milk to be offered to guests or kept for special occasions."
It is remarkable that the upper part of this vessel is also embellished with two very similar bands of metal wire decorations.
Reference: Exhibition catalogue by Marc Ginzberg, with Foreword by Jack Lenor Larsen.
African Forms
Milan
Skira editore
2000
298 pages

The Borana create vessels to store milk, using woven vegetal fibers sealed with fat or gum and decorated with metal wire; these are named ChoCho, as explained in video files http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syTqTaR3RFg  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vKTE4En9h8 
and on the WWW pages
http://www.forafricanart.com/Borana_Chocho_basket_2142.html
http://www.forafricanart.com/Borana_Chocho_basket_2143.html 
http://www.forafricanart.com/Borana_Chocho_basket_2144.html  all accessed in 2013

The following is a citation:
To the tribal, pastoral peoples of Ethiopia milk and butter serve as symbols of abundance and fertility. Therefore despite their ritual functions woven milk containers also serve as objects of daily use. These jugs are exclusively made by women using the coil weaving technique and it can take months to finish a jug. The cleaning operation is preformed before the milking. A hot coal made from aromatic wood is placed with a small amount of water into the container which creates steam. The lid is placed on and the jug is rotated. This process is repeated at least six times. Milk is then gathered from the cow in an okolle container set on the ground. The milk is then poured into these woven purified closed containers and then stored by hanging on the inner back wall of the house. Some milk is drunk fresh while some is stored for weeks.
http://www.africainfinite.com/catalog.php?act=view_prod_info&id_prod=51777&i=&l=&sid=b7e5b7eb80d775b49c0f111e0574fe19 accessed in 2013

It is decorated with cowry shells, which are said to symbolize fertility, femininity, wealth, and protection. Inside these jugs, there is an old black patina encrusted which may be from a combination of materials used to make the jug waterproof. 
... 
In addition to the Oromo, Borana and Gabra, similar vessels are found among Somali, Rendille, and several other groups. These milk jugs were a part of everyday life, used to carry and preserve milk from their cows. Milk is an essential part of pastoral peoples’ diet. Milk was also used in rituals of fertility where it is compared to the semen according to scholars.
...
Milk jugs are present in every household and used daily. As the pastoral people have to move constantly from place to place, most of the jugs have leather handles which allow the owner to carry his or her jug everywhere he or she goes. The most decorated ones were reserved for the head of the household or for visitors.
http://www.africadirect.com/baskets/ethiopian-baskets  accessed in 2013

Numerous people/tribes in South-Ethiopia consider it as a taboo to store milk in a ceramic/terracotta vessel/receptacle. Therefore they use gourds, covered or not with leather.
http://www.bruno-mignot.com/galeries/gourdes-a-lait-eau-beurre/2117-gourde-a-lait-borana-gudji-ethiopie.html accessed in 2013

A few containers based on a gourd and decorated with metal wires and cowry shells are shown in 2013 by the Spencer Museum of Art of the University of Kansas; these have been created by the Borana people and are named chocho.
http://empweb.nhm.ku.edu/eMuseumPlus;jsessionid=F1122F98EF50AB7E457EDF074B374B48.node1?service=direct/1/ResultDetailView/result.inline.list.t1.collection_list.$TspTitleImageLink.link&sp=13&sp=Sartist&sp=SelementList&sp=0&sp=0&sp=999&sp=SdetailView&sp=0&sp=Sdetail&sp=1&sp=T&sp=0&sp=SdetailList&sp=0&sp=F&sp=Scollection&sp=l41947 


Not available.


 

Similar vessels:



Drei Kalebassen, Borana / Süd-Äthiopien H ca. 20 cm
http://www.galeriedogon.de/Ethnografica57.htm in 2013









Borana or Guji Ethiopia or Kenya Milk container, third quarter of 20th century
Plant fiber, silver The Paul C. Johnson, Jr. Fund 99.162.2
The closely related Borana and Guji people, who live in southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya, have a semi-nomadic lifestyle. They move among villages and temporary camps, depending on the availability of grazing lands for their cattle. Both groups are known for making many types of containers from wood, hide, horn, gourd, or plant fiber. We know this woven vessel is a milk container by its distinct smell. Decorated with silver wire, it provides an excellent environment for preserving cow's milk, as the fibers allow evaporation, which lowers the temperature of the liquid.
http://www.artsconnected.org/collection/108409/iafrica-selection-of-works-from-the-exhibition?print=true#%2818%29 2013












Chocho Vessel | Borana People, Ethiopia | Mixed Media | Vessels like this one are called Chocho. They are used to store and serve milk to guests at special occasions, such as weddings. For the Borana, milk is a staple and a symbol of fertility.
https://www.tubmanmuseum.com/







Very old Ethiopian woven milk container used for ritual and everyday use among pastoral Ethiopians.
Price: $100.00
Height 17 inches - Brown
SOLD
To the tribal, pastoral peoples of Ethiopia milk and butter serve as symbols of abundance and fertility. Therefore despite their ritual functions woven milk containers also serve as objects of daily use. These jugs are exclusively made by women using the coil weaving technique and it can take months to finish a jug. The cleaning operation is preformed before the milking. A hot coal made from aromatic wood is placed with a small amount of water into the container which creates steam. The lid is placed on and the jug is rotated. This process is repeated at least six times. Milk is then gathered from the cow in an okolle container set on the ground. The milk is then poured into these woven purified closed containers and then stored by hanging on the inner back wall of the house. Some milk is drunk fresh while some is stored for weeks.
http://www.africainfinite.com/catalog.php?act=view_prod_info&id_prod=51777&i=&l=&sid=b7e5b7eb80d775b49c0f111e0574fe19 accessed in 2013








 


Very rare design, old Ethiopian woven milk container used for ritual and everyday use among pastoral Ethiopians.
Price: $90.00
Height 11 inches - Brown
http://www.africainfinite.com/catalog.php?act=view_prod_info&id_prod=51788&i=&l=&sid=1251f20f135cb619043e19fe05ec8dbc








 


Very old Ethiopian woven milk container used for ritual and everyday use among pastoral Ethiopians.
Price: $55.00
Height 14 inches - Brown
SOLD
http://www.africainfinite.com/catalog.php?act=view_prod_info&id_prod=51768&i=&l=&sid=1251f20f135cb619043e19fe05ec8dbc










 


Very old Ethiopian woven milk container used for ritual and everyday use among pastoral Ethiopians.
Price: $55.00
Height 14 inches
http://www.africainfinite.com/catalog.php?act=view_prod_info&id_prod=51769&i=&l=&sid=1251f20f135cb619043e19fe05ec8dbc








 


Very old Ethiopian woven milk container used for ritual and everyday use among pastoral Ethiopians.
Price: $70.00
Height 12.5 inches - Brown
http://www.africainfinite.com/catalog.php?act=view_prod_info&id_prod=51773&i=&l=&sid=1251f20f135cb619043e19fe05ec8dbc








 


Very rare design, old Ethiopian woven milk container with leather tassel decorations used for ritual and everyday use among pastoral Ethiopians.
Price: $140.00
Height 11.5 inches - Brown
http://www.africainfinite.com/catalog.php?act=view_prod_info&id_prod=51790&i=&l=&sid=1251f20f135cb619043e19fe05ec8dbc








 


Very rare design, old Ethiopian woven milk container used for ritual and everyday use among pastoral Ethiopians.
Price: $80.00
Height 16 inches - Brown
http://www.africainfinite.com/catalog.php?act=view_prod_info&id_prod=51789&i=&l=&sid=1251f20f135cb619043e19fe05ec8dbc








 


Very rare design, old Ethiopian woven and gourd milk container used for ritual and everyday use among pastoral Ethiopians.
Price: $150.00
Height 17 inches - Brown
http://www.africainfinite.com/catalog.php?act=view_prod_info&id_prod=51787&i=&l=&sid=1251f20f135cb619043e19fe05ec8dbc











 


Very rare design, old Ethiopian woven and gourd milk container used for ritual and everyday use among pastoral Ethiopians.
Price: $80.00
Height 8.5 inches - Brown
http://www.africainfinite.com/catalog.php?act=view_prod_info&id_prod=51784&i=&l=&sid=1251f20f135cb619043e19fe05ec8dbc








 


Very rare design, old Ethiopian woven and gourd milk container used for ritual and everyday use among pastoral Ethiopians.
Price: $80.00
Height 9 inches - Brown
http://www.africainfinite.com/catalog.php?act=view_prod_info&id_prod=51785&i=&l=&sid=1251f20f135cb619043e19fe05ec8dbc












http://ancientpoint.com/inf/94343-a_gourd_water_vessel_w_exceptional_wire_workcowrie_shell_decoration__ethiopia.html








 


Ethiopian Borana Calabash, Milk Jug, African
Type of Object: Milk jug, container
Ethnic Group: Borana
Country of Origin: Ethiopia
Materials: Calabash, silver, leather 
Approximate Age:  20th century
Dimensions: 9.5 inches tall.
Overall Condition: Used.
Damage, Repair: cracks with indigenous repairs, minor damage to the neck (see pictures) 

Additional Information: A container used for carrying and serving a milk mixture. This is a well used calabash with neck decorated with knitted vegetal fiber and silver wire and leather handle.

cited from AfricaDirect










Ethiopian Long Necked Basket
Type of Object:
Basket, container
Country of Origin:
Ethiopia, Borana people
Materials:
Vegetal material, metal wire
Approximate Age:
1st half of 20th century
Dimensions:
11 inches tall
Overall Condition:
Used
Damage, Repair:
Slightly encrusted patina, weave is worn in some areas

Additional Information:
A very nicely shaped basket, with accents picked out in a silver colored wire. Waterproof container used to hold milk.
For a similar piece see Marc Ginzberg, 2000, AFRICAN FORMS, p. 113.

cited from AfricaDirect







 


OLD Ethiopian calabash, cowry milk jug African Artifact

Type of Object: /Beaded Milk Jug

People/Tribe: Ethiopia

Country of Origin: Ethiopian

Materials: Hand woven basket, leather straps and cowry shells.

Approximate Age: Unknown

Dimensions: Height is 11.5 inches.

Overall Condition: Used, Good

Damage, Repair: Some loose beads.

Provenance: None

Additional Information: These milk jugs were a part of everyday life to hold milk and most likely other liquids as well. This milk jug still has a very mild aroma of what it once contained.

cited from AfricaDirect








 


Ethiopian Borana or Oromo Small Milk Jug, African

Type of Object: Milk jug, container
People/Tribe: Borana or Oromo
Country of Origin: Ethiopia
Materials: Calabash, silver, glass beads, leather 
Approximate Age:  20th century
Dimensions: 4 inches H; 3 inches D
Overall Condition: Used.
Damage, Repair: None

Additional Information: This is  a small well-used calabash with  recycled plastic stopper. The neck is tightly knitted with vegetal fiber using basketry techniques and silver wire.

cited from AfricaDirect










Ethiopian Borana Calabash, Milk Jug, African

Type of Object: Milk jug, container
Ethnic Group: Borana
Country of Origin: Ethiopia
Materials: Calabash, silver 
Approximate Age:  20th century
Dimensions: 9 inches tall.
Overall Condition: Used.
Damage, Repair: crack with indigenuos repair 

Additional Information: A container used for carrying and serving a milk mixture. This is  a well used calabash with  stopper nicely  decorated with reeds and mouth decorated with reeds and alumunium wire.

cited from AfricaDirect









 


Ethiopian Oromo Calabash, Milk Jug, Small, African

Type of Object: Milk jug, container
Ethnic Group: Oromo                                                         
Country of Origin:
Ethiopia
Materials: Calabash, silver , leather, vegetal fiber                           
Approximate Age:
  20th century
Dimensions: 5.5 inches tall
Overall Condition: Used
Damage, Repair: small holes in places, mastic in the base of the calabash                                                                           
Additional Information:
This is a well used calabash with  stopper, nicely decorated with  vegetal fiber and silver wire. The calabash is covered with leather. This piece shows traces of extensive use and still holds a mild aroma of what was once in it.

cited from AfricaDirect








 

 
Ethiopian Oromo Calabash, Milk Jug, Small, African

Type of Object: Milk jug, container
Ethnic Group: Oromo                                                         
Country of Origin:
Ethiopia
Materials: Calabash, silver, beads, leather, vegetal fiber
Approximate Age:
  20th century
Dimensions: 6 inches tall
Overall Condition: Used
Damage, Repair: None

Additional Information: This is a well used calabash with  stopper, nicely decorated with plastic, vegetal fiber, beads, and silver wire.
This piece shows traces of extensive use and still holds a mild aroma of what was once in it.

cited from AfricaDirect








$69.00
Product #: 68221
Title Ethiopian (Borana, Gabra, or Somali) Milk Jug African
Type of Object Artifact, container
Country of Origin Ethiopia, Somali
People Somali, see also Borana or Gabra
Materials Multi-media....calabash, leather, vegetal fibers or grass basketry, cowrie shells, unspecified encrusted materials inside
Approximate Age mid 20th century
Dimensions 15 inches H. x 5.5 inches W.

http://www.africadirect.com/baskets/ethiopian-baskets/ethiopian-borana-gabra-or-somali-milk-jug-african-70104.html









 











 


Äthiopien: Traditionelles Milchgefäß - Kalebasse - zur Lagerung und dem Transport von Milch und Butter
Ethiopia: Traditional ethiopian vessel -  callabash - used to carry and store milk and butter
Etiopia: Grande lattiera tradizionale - usato per trasportare e conservare il latte e il burro
cited from http://stores.benl.ebay.be/Ethiopian-Culture 2013








 


from TRIBALSPACE









 


This fine milk jug from Ethiopia has a rich surface patina both from the variety of materials used in its construction as well as from years of use. The piece is made from gourd, vegetal fiber, leather, and cowrie shells.
14"H x 6"Diameter
http://www.africaandbeyond.com/milk-jug-container-vessel-ethiopia.html









http://www.utna.org/index6272008.html







 


Gourde a lait - Borana / Gudji - Ethiopie
sold
Ces gourdes sont généralement formées d'un corps végétal en calebasse (famille des cucurbitacées), recouvert ou non, soit de perlage, soit de cuir, soit de fibres végétales tressées.
Calebasse recouverte de peau, et de fibres tissées enduites d'une gomme résineuse, richement ornée de fils d'acier.
Une anse en cuir était destinée à porter la gourde. Bouchon amovible. Patine grasse.
De nombreux peuples du sud de l'Ethiopie, considèrent comme tabou le fait de garder le lait dans des réceptacles en terre cuite. Ce sont donc de calebasses ou de gourdes en bois taillé, recouvertes ou non de peau, dont il est fait usage.
Selon la tribu, ces récipients sont plus ou moins ornés, de décorations ou de divers matériaux qui  augmentent sa valeur et le prestige de son propriétaire.

   Ethnie : Gudji

   Pays d'origine : Éthiopie 

   Zone de collecte : Éthiopie, Addis Abeba

   Ancienneté présumée : entre 1960 et 1970

   Matière principale : calebasse

   Aspect de surface : d'usage

   Etat apparent : très bon état

   Etat de conservation : dans son jus

   Appartenance : ex collection particulière E. Dupuy

   Test laboratoire : non testé

   Hauteur, en cm : 30

   Poids, en grammes : 520








Gourde a lait - Ethnie Borana - Ethiopie

   Ethnie : Borana / Boran

   Pays d'origine : Kenya

   Zone de collecte : Kenya, Nairobi

   Ancienneté présumée : entre 1960 et 1970

   Matière principale : calebasse

   Aspect de surface : d'usage

   Etat apparent : très bon état

   Etat de conservation : dans son jus

   Appartenance : collecte in situ

   Test laboratoire : non testé

   Hauteur, en cm : 21

   Poids, en grammes : 219












Gourde a lait - Borana / Gudji - Ethiopie
for sale in 2013  96 Euro
http://www.bruno-mignot.com/galeries/gourdes-a-lait-eau-beurre/2116-gourde-a-lait-borana-gudji-ethiopie.html

   Ethnie : Borana / Boran

   Pays d'origine : Kenya

   Zone de collecte : Kenya, Nairobi

   Ancienneté présumée : entre 1980 et 1990

   Matière principale : calebasse

   Aspect de surface : d'usage

   Etat apparent : très bon état

   Etat de conservation : dans son jus

   Appartenance : ex collection particulière E. Dupuy

   Test laboratoire : non testé

   Hauteur, en cm : 16

   Poids, en grammes : 340







 



Gourde a lait - Borana / Gudji - Ethiopie
sold
http://www.bruno-mignot.com/galeries/calebasses/2118-gourde-a-lait-borana-gudji-ethiopie.html 2013

   Ethnie : Gudji

   Pays d'origine : Éthiopie

   Zone de collecte : Éthiopie, Addis Abeba

   Ancienneté présumée : entre 1980 et 1990

   Matière principale : calebasse

   Aspect de surface : d'usage

   Etat apparent : très bon état

   Etat de conservation : dans son jus

   Appartenance : ex collection particulière E. Dupuy

   Test laboratoire : non testé

   Hauteur, en cm : 24

   Poids, en grammes : 517









Gourde a lait - Borana / Gudji - Ethiopie
for sale in 2013 for 144 Euro

   Ethnie : Gudji

   Pays d'origine : Éthiopie

   Zone de collecte : Éthiopie, Addis Abeba

   Ancienneté présumée : entre 1980 et 1990

   Matière principale : calebasse

   Aspect de surface : d'usage

   Etat apparent : très bon état

   Etat de conservation : dans son jus

   Appartenance : ex collection particulière E. Dupuy

   Test laboratoire : non testé

   Hauteur, en cm : 23

   Poids, en grammes : 474

http://www.bruno-mignot.com/galeries/gourdes-a-lait-eau-beurre/2117-gourde-a-lait-borana-gudji-ethiopie.html








 


Gourde a lait - Borana / Gudji - Ethiopie
for sale in 2013 and 2014 for 195 Euro

   Ethnie : Gudji

   Pays d'origine : Éthiopie

   Zone de collecte : Éthiopie, Addis Abeba

   Ancienneté présumée : entre 1980 et 1990

   Matière principale : calebasse

   Aspect de surface : d'usage

   Etat apparent : très bon état

   Etat de conservation : dans son jus

   Appartenance : ex collection particulière E. Dupuy

   Test laboratoire : non testé

   Hauteur, en cm : 21

   Poids, en grammes : 354

http://www.bruno-mignot.com/galeries/gourdes-a-lait-eau-beurre/4225-gourde-a-lait-borana-gudji-ethiopie.html









Ethiopian (Borana, Gabra, or Somali ) Milk Jug African
http://stores.ebay.com/Africa-Direct 2013










 

Specific people / tribe unknown

Gourd vessel/container


Not available.

From Johan Visker, expert in Ethiopian art.

Similar gourd is illustrated in:
Musée Royal de l"Afrique Centrale Tervuren, Belgique/Belgium, Vol. 151
AETHIOPIA, Objets d'Ethiopie: Catalogue de l'exposition "Aethiopia, Peuples d'Ethiopie" Mars- septembre 1996.
1996
142 pages
30 x 21 cm
ISBN 10: 9075894392
ISBN 13: 9789075894394
abondamment illustré en n/b
broché
textes par Xavier Van de Stappen:
--Introduction
--Groupes culturels
421 photos d'objets ethniques, avec description et provenance (ethnie, lieu de récolte) précises :  manuscrits, Icone-polyptyque, croix en argent, appuie-nuque, récipients divers, céramiques, sièges, boucliers, plateaux, trépieds, labrets,  paniers, bracelets et autres objets de décoration personnelle etc...
Le catalogue le plus complet sur les objets d'Ethiopie.
Poids = 700 g








 

Dorze tribe in South Ethiopia

Gourd vessel/container



From a dealer in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Similar gourds have been published in
Musée Royal de l"Afrique Centrale Tervuren, Belgique/Belgium, Vol. 151
AETHIOPIA, Objets d'Ethiopie: Catalogue de l'exposition "Aethiopia, Peuples d'Ethiopie" Mars- septembre 1996.
1996
142 pages
30 x 21 cm
ISBN 10: 9075894392
ISBN 13: 9789075894394
abondamment illustré en n/b
broché
textes par Xavier Van de Stappen:
--Introduction
--Groupes culturels
421 photos d'objets ethniques, avec description et provenance (ethnie, lieu de récolte) précises :  manuscrits, Icone-polyptyque, croix en argent, appuie-nuque, récipients divers, céramiques, sièges, boucliers, plateaux, trépieds, labrets,  paniers, bracelets et autres objets de décoration personnelle etc...
Le catalogue le plus complet sur les objets d'Ethiopie.
Poids = 700 g






 


Ivory coast / Cote d' Ivoire / Elfenbeinküste / Costa D'Avorio & Liberia, in West Africa

Baule people

Comb


Wood.

Bought from the collection of traditional African art of Gy Mateussen in Oud Turnhout, Belgium, in 2015.

Not available.







 

Comb


Wood with nice patina

Bought from the collection of African art of Gy Mateussen in Oud Turnhout, Belgium, in 2015.

Not available.







 

Comb


Wood.

Bought from the collection of African art of Gy Mateussen in Oud Turnhout, Belgium, in 2015.

Not available.







 


Ivory Coast & Liberia

Dan people

2x6+2 game board /gameboard, named mancala=mankala=manqala=mangala or wari or awale or ma


Wood; a rectangular block on four feet with 12 circular deeper parts  in two parallel rows on top, projections formed like pipe heads at the ends (for keeping the won gaming pieces).
Incised ornaments aside.
Visible finger grooves.
Reddish brown, shiny patina.
Abstract form; not with human or animal heads at one or both ends.

Bought from a Belgian collection of traditional African art, on a live auction of antiques, organised by the auction house Bernaerts  in Antwerpen / Antwerp, Belgium, 2009.
According to the auction catalog, bought by the previous owner from the famous Leloup gallery in Paris, France.

Exhibited: Heverlee, Belgium: "Dans en Spel in de Primitive Kunst van Zwart Afrika, Pre-Columbiaans Amerika, Oceanie", UCLOS, 7-18 October 1983.
Photo published in: Expo cat.: "Dans en Spel in de Primitive Kunst van Zwart Afrika, Pre-Columbiaans Amerika, Oceanie. Een keuze uit privé-collecties in Vlaanderen", UCLOS, Heverlee, 1983: #4 .

http://archive.yale-gvr-aaa.org Yale University African art archive number 0055448

A photo of the game board has been used as illustration on the WWW site http://chdangr.com/ :


NOT available.

 

The game is called „ma“ and is mainly played by men.
For information about mancala board games, see the following book:
Page 55 shows a very similar object, in the collection of the British Museum, London, UK, described as from the Ivory Coast

Alexander J. de Voogt
Mancala: The Board Game in Africa and Asia (Ethnography)
Publisher: British Museum Press
1997
96 pages
Softcover
ISBN-10: 0714125369
ISBN-13: 978-0714125367
Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 17 x 0.8 cm
Book is written in English
With 54 black and white and 16 color photographs.
Mancala is a board game played with many variations across Africa, the Caribbean, central and South East Asia and the Middle East.

The aim of the game:

To capture more seeds than your opponent. At the end of the game, the player who has captured the most seeds wins.

Rules of the game:

The board is divided into two areas, hollowed with 6 holes each. At the beginning, 48 seeds are distributed among the twelve holes (4 seeds in each hole). Therefore, the players need for play a 2x6 or 2x6+2 board.

The top row belong to opponent player. You own the bottom row.

The game turn:

Every player plays alternately. The first one to play is chosen at random.
The player takes all the seeds in a hole of his/her area and distributes them counter-clockwise, one in each hole.

Capture:

If the last seed to be distributed falls into one of the opponent's holes, containing already 1 or 2 seeds, the player captures the 2 or 3 seeds.
The hole is left empty. The captured seeds are taken off the board or collected into the player's loft (if the players play with a 2x6+2 board).
Therefore, the hole can be captured only if, after distributing the seeds, it contains two or three seeds.

Multiple capture:

If a player captures 2 or 3 seeds, and the preceding hole also contains two or three seeds, they are captured too, and so on.
Capturing is only allowed in the opponent's area.

Loop:

If the number of seeds taken in the starting hole is greater than 11, it constitutes a loop: the starting hole is left out every time in the distribution loop, and therefore, always left empty.

Feed the opponent:

A player is not allowed to "starve" his/her opponent: a player can't play a hole that leads to capturing all the seeds in his opponent's area. A player can be left with no seeds at all only if is impossible to feed him/her.

End of the game:

The game ends if a player has n seeds anymore in his/her area, and therefore can't play.
In this case, the other player captures all the remaining seeds.
Or the game ends if the game is "looping" (after some turns, the same board configuration is obtained again).

More information on the game is given by http://www.awale.info/?lang=en








 

A similar game board with a more rough, less shiny and silky patina:
http://www.philippelaeremans.be/objetsdumoisartafricain/ in 2017:

Prix: 800 € (meilleur prix)
Type d’objet : Jeu awalé
Pays/région : Côte d’Ivoire
Origine : Awalé ou awele
Date : Premier moitié du XXe siècle
Dimensions : 59 x 13,5 x 12,5 cm
Provenance : Collection Belge
Matériaux : Bois
Description de l’objet : Ce jeu a été créé de la manière la plus belle et la plus rare qui soit : il est sculpté dans la masse. Il est doté de 14 trous. Les deux trous supplémentaires servant à engranger les graines. Très belle patine due à une grande utilisation.

Documentation sur l’objet et la symbolique :
Jeu de stratégie awalé connu comme étant un des plus anciens. L’origine véritable du jeu se situerait vers le 5-6e siècle. Connu en Egypte dès la plus haute antiquité, le jeu de Mancala est à ce jour répandu en Afrique noire car il a été qualifié de jeu national africain.
Ce jeu de réflexion et de stratégie comparable au jeu d’échec et jeu de Go, fait parti de la famille des Mancalas – qui signifie Bouger en Arabe – évoque la notion de  Semence et de Récolte. Sa probable origine Africaine est attribuée à deux pays : l’Egypte ou l’Ethiopie.
Le jeu d’awalé est composé d’un plateau et de 48 graines.
– Le plateau est fait  soit de deux demi-bûches reliées par des charnières pour être transporté facilement ou sculpté dans la masse pour les plus beaux et les plus rares.  Il comporte au minimum 12 trous mais il peut en avoir 13 et 14 pour ceux taillés d’un seul bloc. Ces trous supplémentaires servent à engranger  les graines.
– Les graines utilisées depuis l’origine sont des graines de Caesalpinia bonduc, mais les fruits secs appelés fruits noirs dans certains pays africains sont également utilisés.









 

Heddle pulley with a face in the style of a Dan mask


Wood.

On a professionally made, black, iron stand.

Not available anymore; sold; ex-collection.









 


Mali, West-Africa

Door lock


Wood.
Eroded.

Probably from Mali (Bamana or Dogon people).

On a heavy, black iron stand, custom made by a professional.

The size is typical for this kind of objects: 24 cm high (30 cm including the stand).

Not available anymore; sold for 50 + 30 Euro.








 

Door lock


Wood.

Probably from Mali (Bamana or Dogon people)

On a heavy black iron stand, custom made by a professional.

Not available anymore; sold; ex-collection.








 

Mali & Burkina Faso, West-Africa

Dogon people

The Dogon live in the East of Mali along the Bandiagara escarpment, a range of cliffs approximately 120 miles long and in places up to one thousand feet high, in small villages on the plain at the foot of the escarpment.

The Dogon have been studied relatively well, so that information about their way of living and their art can be found in many publications. See for instance

Dogon art is extremely versatile.

The following text fragments about the Dogon are quoted from http://www.zyama.com/:

“The 250,000 Dogon live 180 miles south of Timbuktu on the cliffs of Bandiagara, which dominate the plains for over 150 miles. At first hunters, now on their small fields they cultivate millet, sorghum, wheat, and onion. The millet is stored in high quadrangular granaries around which they build their houses. Because of the difficult approach to these regions and the aridity of the climate, the Dogon have been isolated and hence were able to conserve their ancient religious habits and ways of making the necessary implements, their carvings.

Dogon social and religious organizations are closely interlinked and out of this arose principal cults, which accounts for the richness and diversity of Dogon culture and art. The hogon is the religious leader of a region, in charge of the cult of lebe, the mythical serpent. Assisted by the blacksmith, he presides over agrarian ceremonies. The clans are subdivided onto lineages, overseen by the patriarch, guardian of the clan’s ancestral shrine and officiant at the totemic animal cult. Beside this hierarchical system of consanguinity, male and female associations are entrusted with the initiations that take place by age group, corresponding to groups of newly circumcised or excised boys or girls. The Dogon believe these operations remove the female element from males and vice versa. Circumcision thus creates a wholly male or female person prepared to assume an adult role. The members of an age group owe one another assistance until the day they die. Initiation of boys begins after their circumcision, with the teaching of the myths annotated by drawings and paintings. The young boys will learn the place of humans in nature, society, and the universe. In the Dogon pantheon Amma appears as the original creator of all the forces of the universe and of his descendant Lebe, the god of plant rebirth. Amma is also the creator of the ancestors of each clan. Among the many other gods, Nommo, the water spirit, is often represented in conjunction with Amma. For these various cults the hogon is both priest and political chief of the village. The smiths and woodcarvers, who form a separate caste, transmit their profession by heredity. They may only marry within their own caste. Women are in charge of pottery making.”

The following text fragments about Dogon art and statues in particular are also quoted from http://www.zyama.com/:

“Dogon art is extremely versatile, although common stylistic characteristics – such as a tendency towards stylization – are apparent on the statues. Their art deals with the myths whose complex ensemble regulates the life of the individual. The sculptures are preserved in innumerable sites of worship, personal or family altars, altars for rain, altars to protect hunters, in market. As a general characterization of Dogon statues, one could say that they render the human body in a simplified way, reducing it to its essentials. Some are extremely elongated with emphasis on geometric forms. The subjective impression is one of immobility with a mysterious sense of a solemn gravity and serene majesty, although conveying at the same time a latent movement. Dogon sculpture recreates the hermaphroditic silhouettes of the Tellem, featuring raised arms and a thick patina made of blood and millet beer. The four Nommo couples, the mythical ancestors born of the god Amma, ornament stools, pillars or men’s meeting houses, door locks, and granary doors. The primordial couple is represented sitting on a stool, the base of which depicts the earth while the upper surface represents the sky; the two are interconnected by the Nommo. The seated female figures, their hands on their abdomen, are linked to the fertility cult, incarnating the first ancestor who died in childbirth, and are the object of offerings of food and sacrifices by women who are expecting a child. Kneeling statues of protective spirits are placed at the head of the dead to absorb their spiritual strength and to be their intermediaries with the world of the dead, into which they accompany the deceased before once again being placed on the shrines of the ancestors. Horsemen are remainders of the fact that, according to myth, the horse was the first animal present on earth.

The Dogon style has evolved into a kind of cubism: ovoid head, squared shoulders, tapered extremities, pointed breasts, forearms, and thighs on a parallel plane, hairdos stylized by three or four incised lines.

Dogon sculptures serve as a physical medium in initiations and as an explanation of the world. They serve to transmit an understanding to the initiated, who will decipher the statue according to the level of their knowledge.

Carved animal figures, such as dogs and ostriches, are placed on village foundation altars to commemorate sacrificed animals, while granary doors, stools and house posts are also adorned with figures and symbols.”

from http://tribart.blogspot.com/ we learn the following:

The DOGON from northern Mali are called HABRE (unbelievers) by the Fulani, because they resisted Islam, and following their migration under pressure from the MOSSI kingdom, they sought shelter among the rocky country at the foot of the Bandiagara and Hombori mountains where they wrested fields from the arid ground with the aid of artificial irrigation.

Their carving is of great variety and interest, and much is known about the ancient myths to which the sculptures refer. Their creator god was AMMA and there were eight NOMMO who are regarded as his messengers and as incarnations of his life force. It was also the Nommo who became men.

The seventh NOMMO who became man was the HOGON or High Priest and was the smith and it was he who arrived on earth either in an ark or on horseback bringing important cultural materials and techniques. The myths tell of the god AMMA who created the earth from clay. The earth was feminine and the termite hill represented the clitoris. AMMA had intercourse with the earth who was an unwilling partner and from this union was born DYOUGOU and SEROU who in turn committed incest with his mother. Statues of these two often depict them with their hands over their eyes symbolizing shame over the act of incest. Because the initial act of creation had got off to such a bad start, AMMA decided to excise the earth’s clitoris and once again had intercourse with her and the offspring of this union was a pair of strange beings known as NOMMO. The NOMMO had supple bodies with no joints and only one single leg in the shape of a drumstick. The pair were bisexual, but the male element dominated in one and the female in the other. The latter gave birth to four NOMMO couples considered to be the eight original ancestors of man.

The much celebrated DOGON door locks are seldom found in the shape of the NOMMO but the shape is common in other DOGON sculptures. The head is a semicircular form resting on two breasts which form the neck. Visually, the body of the lock becomes the body of the figure. Door locks are becoming increasingly rare with the spread of ISLAM. Peer pressure often forces people to remove the door locks and another reason is fear that they will be stolen for resale. Many of the old family locks are kept hidden in the home against such occurrences. There are no known large collections of door locks which makes comparison of styles and designs very difficult.
 

Granary window of the Dogon


Wood.

Bought on an auction of African art in Antwerp, Belgium.

This particular door was probably not used.

Not available.

The quality of the sculpture and the patina are better than on most similar modern objects that can be found; for instance two figures clearly stand out of the flat surface of the door and it has a sliding lock.

The Dogon farm in an environment that is marginal and demanding. They depend upon the food they produce to live (mainly millet). They store the millet in grain storage buildings / granaries / silos that are made of mud bricks with thatched roofs.
The numerous granaries show the need to store food and also they reflect family structures, as each wife will have her own granary where personal objects as well as family shrines are kept.
Openings into the granary were sealed by wooden carved doors.
The doors consist of smaller, rectangular panels held together with metal / iron hand-forged nails/staples, probably because large pieces of suitably hard wood are difficult to find in the region.
The doors had pointed corners that served as hinges and a sculpted wooden lock to keep it closed.
Figures of humans, animals or symbolic motifs were carved in relief onto the surface of the panels, and sometimes into the sliding locks.
Most Dogon carvings of humans refer to the ancestors known as Nommo who brought humankind to earth and who were the first farmers and blacksmiths.
Figures that wear Kanaga masks dance across the surface of many doors, in reflecting the Dogon ceremonies that honor the dead and that celebrate the idea of life.
The pronounced breasts refer of course to health, fertility and the harvest.
Thieves were discouraged by the presence of references to primordial, ancestral spirits on the doors and locks.








 

Wooden door locks / doorlocks / serrures / ta koguru, from the Dogon or Bambara people/tribe in Mali

Panel doors were used to protect houses and granaries.
They are abstract or they show symbols that represent in many cases the ancestors.
In the past, these doors were secured by carved wooden locks.
Because of the availability of modern padlocks and the demand for old wooden locks and doors on the Western art market, these objects are becoming increasingly rare in the villages.
Such door locks were transmitted from generation to generation.

A few Dogon door locks have been shown on the WWW at
http://www.artheos.org/ [cited 2003]
There the mechanism of the locks is also explained.

"Openings into the granary were sealed by carved doors or panels. Figures of humans, animals or of symbolic motifs were carved in relief onto the surface of the door, and sometimes into the locks. The doors had pointed corners that served as hinges and a sculpted wooden lock to keep it closed."

A whole, very nice book with many photos is dedicated to Dogon door locks:
Bilot, Alain et al.
Serrures du Pays Dogon
Paris, France : Adam Biro, 2003.

 

Door lock from the Dogon or Bambara people/tribe in Mali


Wood.
Nice patina.
On a heavy metal stand.

Bought on an auction of tribal art by the high-quality auction house Bernaerts, in Antwerp, Belgium.

Available: 240 Euro.








 

http://www.beprimitive.com/Collections/Artifacts/African/african-artifacts/A0700-516 in 2017:

A0700-516
Door Lock
Dogon People
Africa
20th C.
Carved Wood
14'' W x 1.5'' D x 16'' H
$1,295







 

http://www.beprimitive.com/Collections/Artifacts/African/african-artifacts/A0700-520 in 2017:

A0700-520
Door Lock
Dogon People
Africa
20th C.
Carved Wood
12.5'' W x 1.5'' D x 12'' H
$1,295






 

Door lock from the Dogon or Bambara people/tribe in Mali


Wood.
Nice patina.
Abstracted antelope horns are present on the top.
37 cm high.
On a black, heavy metal stand.

Bought on an auction of tribal art by the high-quality auction house Bernaerts, in Antwerp, Belgium.

Not available anymore; ex-collection; sold for 150 Euro.









 

Door lock from the Dogon or Bambara people/tribe in Mali


Wood.
Nice dry patina.
Abstracted antelope horns are present on the top.
The horizontal key is included.
On a black, heavy metal stand.

Bought on an auction of tribal art by the high-quality auction house Bernaerts, in Antwerp, Belgium.

Not available.

Referring to a similar object, the following text is shown on the WWW site http://www.artheos.org/:
"The pointed horn-like structures atop this lock could represent as well stylised nommo figures or the horns of the antelope (ka). The vertical beam is decorated with incised and pyroengraved patterns which evoke the fields (terrestrial space and fertility) and the center of the universe. Therefore, these patterns are symbolizing water and fertility, and also the spiritual being nommo in water and rain. This lock would have been used on the door of a binu sanctuary. The binu cult links the living to those early ancestors who are immortal. Locks of this type, representing the antelope, are used on the binu sanctuary doors or granaries of families for whom the animal is a totem. Wooden door locks were used on the doors of dwellings, cookhouses, sanctuaries, and on granary shutters. Each lock is given a name in accordance with its message, person, myth, or any anecdote referred to. Door locks were a prized gift for young brides, and passed down from generation to generation."

A photo of this lock has been included in an animation video on the Dogon at 1'43"  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxUuC_bT37I








 

http://www.beprimitive.com/Collections/Artifacts/African/african-artifacts/A0700-515 in 2017:

A0700-515
Door Lock
Dogon People
Africa
20th C.
Carved Wood
11.5'' W x 1.5'' D x 17'' H
$1,295







 

Hairpin showing two chameleons from the Dogon in Mali, or Bobo, Bwa, Gurunsi in Burkina Faso or neigbouring people

Bought in 2010 from the collection of hairpins and combs of Johan Mikkens, in Berkel, Nederland.

Hairpins were worn as adornments in the hair.
Such hairpins are a result of artists using a lost wax / cire perdue method.
Among various people in Burkina Faso, Mali and Ivory Coast the chameleon is often represented in jewelry including, pendants, rings, and hairpins.
The chameleon is considered one of the most important animals associated to the creation of the word. Wearing an adornment with a chameleon may indicate that the owner belongs to a high social rank.

Not available

A similar hairpin has been offered for sale: http://www.discoverafricanart.com/Chameleon_hair_pin.html :








 


Nigeria

Yoruba people

Staff of a herbalist = Opa Osanyin


Iron.
Nice black patina.

On a black metal stand.

Bought from an old collection in Belgium at an auction of tribal art by high-quality auction house Bernaerts, in Antwerpen.

Not available.








 

Similar objects below:

Africa YORUBA, Osanyin Staffs
Africa YORUBA, Osanyin Staffs
Iron staffs surmounted by birds and dedicated to Osanyin, deity of herbal medicine. Used to promote healing and protection. The birds honor the powers of elderly women, who could transform themselves into birds, to gain their support in the healing. The staffs were placed in the ground next to the ailing person.
http://www.rudisouth.com/









 

 , Yoruba Herbalist's Staff  (Osanyin Staff) - Detail
http://www.artnet.com/







 











 


Herbalist's Staff (Opa Osanyin or Opa Erinle)
19th-early 20th century
Culture: Yoruba
Gift of Drs. Ruth and Theodore Lidz 1995.81.1
Herbalists enlist the aid of the god of divination, Osanyin, or the god of medicine, Erinle, in their work against mental and physical illness caused by supernaturally evil people who change into birds at night to extract fluids and spirit from unsuspecting people while they sleep. A staff of birds, emissaries of the god of iron and war, refers to the herbalist's understanding of and power over these malevolent people. There are normally sixteen birds, invoking the most sacred number of divination, surrounding and confronting the central bird, which represents the smallpox god.
http://artgallery.yale.edu/








 

http://detoursdesmondes.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/osanyin_200.jpg   
Osanyin
est la divinité des herbes médicinales. Les fers surmontés d'oiseaux sont liés à son culte et plantés à la porte du devin.
Pourquoi des oiseaux ? Plusieurs interprétations : Liés à des «étincelles de vie», ils représenteraient des têtes d'Osanyin (généralement au nombre de 16) mais ils peuvent aussi se référer aux pouvoirs des femmes appelées «nos mères» mais craintes comme des sorcières. Celles-ci, dans leur côté malfaisant, utiliseraient des oiseaux.
Il serait dans les pouvoirs de l'herboriste de les combattre grâce à sa connaissance des plantes.
De manière générale, le symbole de l'oiseau est lié aux prédictions et à la lutte entre le bien et le mal.
http://detoursdesmondes.typepad.com/dtours_des_mondes/








 


www.art-vs.de/








 


Lot 199A, sold for about 800 Euro
A) Fer divinatoire
Hauteur : 80,5 cm
600 / 800 euros
Emblème cultuel d'Osanyin, divinité des herbes médicinales, cet objet de fer forgé est toujours surmonté d'oiseaux au nombre de quinze ou seize, référence implicite aux seize fois odu, chapitres de la divination par Ifa (In. Arts du Nigeria, page 256, fig. 55 à 71)
Calmels Cohen
Vente aux enchères publiques
Auktionskatalog
Art primitifs. Collection Marie et Philippe de Thezy
Paris
Catalogue de la vente du 8 Juin 2005 à Drouot Montaigne
76 pages
Format 27 x 21 cm
260 lots décrits et reproduits en couleurs









 


Forged-iron figurative sculpture is not common in Africa, but Yoruba blacksmiths pound, weld, and cast several types of very elegant standards, such as those carried by Ifa cult priests, those planted in the ground at the shrines of Osanyin herbalists, and those pounded from hoes into a sword-like staff for the deity of agriculture, Oko. These are the same artisans who produce the everyday tools of the leatherworkers, woodcarvers, and farmers.
http://www.roccoangeloni.it/wiki/index.php?title=Shaping:_The_Blacksmith







 


Opa Osanyin or Opa Erinle Staff

http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/home.php









 

                               
These iron staffs, surmounted by birds and dedicated to Osanyin, deity of herbal medicine, promoted healing and discouraged witchcraft. The birds honor the powers of elderly women, who could transform themselves into birds, to gain their support in the healing. The staffs were placed in the ground next to the ailing person.
http://www.hamillgallery.com/YORUBA/YorubaOsanyin/YorubaOsanyin.html in 2013









 


http://www.i.t.coursework.4t.com/index.htm in 2013








 

file:///C:/Users/pnieuwen/Documents/subjects/african-art/by-country/nigeria/yoruba=yorouba=yorba/iron-herbalist-staff=opa-osanyin/without-prices/Staff%20_%20Cleveland%20Museum%20of%20Art_files/ump_007.jpg
Staff, c. 1950s
Guinea Coast, Nigeria, Yoruba , 20th century iron, Overall - h:117.00 w:14.00 d:10.00 cm (h:46 1/16 w:5 1/2 d:3 7/8 inches). Gift of Arthur Olson 2007.186 The bird on the top of the staff has been interpreted as a hawk by one Yoruba diviner. The hawk's power, speed, and tenacity are metaphors for the abilities of the diviner as he confronts the various forces operating in the Yoruba universe in order to guide his clients to lives of fulfillment.








 


Creator Nationality: African; North African; Sahelese; Mali; Bamana
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Name-CRT: Yoruba, Bamana Group
Title: Osanyin Staff
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: iron
Dimensions: H.28-1/2 x W.6-5/8 in.
Contributor: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Owner Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
ID Number: 80.54.6
Credit Line: Gift of Bruce B. Dayton
Context: Among Yoruba people an iron staff topped by birds signals the presence of an herbalist or diviner. Such staffs might be placed outside the diviner''s home, or activated for use in ceremonies. The birds connect the staff to Osanyin, the god of herbalism, and also to dangerous spirits whose power the diviner must control and direct on behalf of his clients.
ID: MIA_.80.54.6
Component Measured: overall
Measurement Unit: in
MIA-MIA_.4679C







 


African Yoruba Osunyin Staff #152061
A very large iron Yoruba Ifa Diviner’s Osun Osunyin Staff, Nigeria. From the gods of medicine and divination, a superb example with forty-two birds. Well patinated iron work, held in private collection for fifty years, and dating to the early 20th century. An unusually large, complex, and intact example of an important ritual and prestige object. On a custom stand.

Weight : 2.95 kg / 6 lbs 8 oz
Height without stand: 107 cm / 42 in Height with stand: 114.5 cm / 45 in








 


AFRICAN IRON - Yoruba Finely Crafted Iron Medicine Staff with central bird surrounded by fourteen encircling birds, Nigeria, 17" tall, 8" diam, corroded. The central bird represents the imperturbable God of Divination, neutralizing the surrounding fiery "witches".
http://auctions.thomastonauction.com/asp/fullcatalogue.asp?salelot=302++++++566+&refno=++189050









 


These beautiful staffs were used by healers to cure sickness. Offerings were made to the staff to request the aid of Orisha Osanyin, the god of herbal medicine. The stylized birds at the top connect the heavens and earth, being creatures of flight.
43.75"H x 8"W
http://www.africaandbeyond.com/index.html







 


Auktion AFRIKA6 Lot 223 - 23 June 2007 10:00 to 23 July 2007 10:00
YORUBA KULTEISEN Nigeria, H 68.5cm
Publiziert: Bamert, Arnold (1980). Afrika. Olten: Walter-Verlag, S.136.
Opa Osanyin Eisenstab der auf einem Altar für Osanyin, die Gottheit der Heilkräuter, stand.
Die Vögel verweisen auf die spirituellen Kräfte der Frauen, die sich in Vögel verwandeln können und als solche, je nach Gunst, Glück bringen oder Schaden zufügen.







 


Nigeria, 20th century. Iron rod with crown of birds at the top encircling a larger more stylized bird and spoon-like receptacle at front. These staffs are used in dedication to Osanyin, deity of herbal medicine, and were owned by practitioners who promoted healing and discouraged witchcraft. Cp Robins & Nooter, no 670 African Art in American Collections. 23"H (58.4cm) + custom mount.
Provenance: Ex-Sotheby's, London, June 1987.
Condition report Age wear, minor losses, else intact. Deeply oxodized iron surface.






 


Lot No. 38
Description Yoruba, Nigeria: A 'Opa osanyin' shaman's staff made of iron. Among the Yoruba such iron staffs are the insignia of shamans or magic healers. They are surmounted by a large bird encircled by other birds, symbolising evil witches, entering houses at night to suck the blood of its inhabitants. The healers fight these witches and drive them away. The above shaman's staff is wrought from local African iron and shows the classic stylistic canon of the 'Opa osanyin': The pointed staff is of square cross section, and twisted into a spiral at the top. It is surmounted by a ring of 16 (!) small birds surrounding a large bird with a helical crest. A very good, old piece by a Yoruba smith, very much in the traditional style. With an old, rusty, encrusted patina. 1st Third 20th Cent.; H:67 cm. (ME)








 


YORUBA STAB
Nigeria. H 41 cm. Eisen.
Provenienz: Sammlung Vontobel, Waltalingen.
opa osanyin-Eisenstab, der einst auf einem Altar für die osanyin genannte Gottheit der Heilkräuter stand.

Dargestellt ist ein grosser Vogel, der über kreisförmig angeordneten kleineren Vögeln thront. Das Vogelmotiv verweist auf die den Müttern und älteren Frauen zugeschriebenen spirituellen Kräfte: Sie konnten sich in Vögel verwandeln und als solche - je nach Gunst - Glück bringen oder aber Schaden zufügen.

Die Gestaltung des osanyin-Stabs stellt die nächtliche Versammlung solcher Hexen-Vögel dar. Der Stab ist somit nicht nur ein Symbol der Gefahr, sondern vor allem ein Zeichen dafür, dass die „Mütter“ den Herbalisten und sein Gehöft vor den nächtlichen Attacken böswilliger Hexen schützen würden.

Der mittlere Vogel wird häufig als ein Symbol für orunmila interpretiert, den Gott des ifa-Orakels und älteren Bruder des Medizingottes osanyin, denn das Orakel verschreibt auch die Medizin gegen Krankheiten. Die 16 kleineren Vögel stellen einen Bezug zu den 16 Abschnitten der ifa-Verse dar.

Weiterführende Literatur: Homberger, Lorenz (1991). Yoruba. Zürich: Museum Rietberg.
http://www.artauctions.ch/







 


YORUBA EISEN Nigeria. H 71 cm. Eisen. Provenienz: Schweizer Privatsammlung. Details opa osanyin-Eisenstab, der einst auf einem Altar für die osanyin genannte Gottheit der Heilkräuter stand.

Dargestellt ist ein grosser Vogel, der über kreisförmig angeordneten kleineren Vögeln thront. Das Vogelmotiv verweist auf die den Müttern und älteren Frauen zugeschriebenen spirituellen Kräfte: Sie konnten sich in Vögel verwandeln und als solche - je nach Gunst - Glück bringen oder aber Schaden zufügen.

Die Gestaltung des osanyin-Stabs stellt die nächtliche Versammlung solcher Hexen-Vögel dar. Der Stab ist somit nicht nur ein Symbol der Gefahr, sondern vor allem ein Zeichen dafür, dass die „Mütter“ den Herbalisten und sein Gehöft vor den nächtlichen Attacken böswilliger Hexen schützen würden.

Der mittlere Vogel wird häufig als ein Symbol für orunmila interpretiert, den Gott des ifa-Orakels und älteren Bruder des Medizingottes osanyin, denn das Orakel verschreibt auch die Medizin gegen Krankheiten. Die 16 kleineren Vögel stellen einen Bezug zu den 16 Abschnitten der ifa-Verse dar.

Weiterführende Literatur: Homberger, Lorenz (1991). Yoruba. Zürich: Museum Rietberg








 


Herbalist's Staff (Opa Osanyin or Opa Erinle)

19th-early 20th century

Culture: Yoruba

Gift of Drs. Ruth and Theodore Lidz

1995.81.1

Herbalists enlist the aid of the god of divination, Osanyin, or the god of medicine, Erinle, in their work against mental and physical illness caused by supernaturally evil people who change into birds at night to extract fluids and spirit from unsuspecting people while they sleep. A staff of birds, emissaries of the god of iron and war, refers to the herbalist's understanding of and power over these malevolent people. There are normally sixteen birds, invoking the most sacred number of divination, surrounding and confronting the central bird, which represents the smallpox god. 

This object is not currently on view.

Bibliography

"Acquisitions, January 1994–December 1995," Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (1995–96): 157.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery's complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.

http://artgallery.yale.edu/








 


338 Ritual staff "opa osanyin" This object is not available any more. Nigeria, Yoruba corroded iron, a big bird in the centre, surrounded by six smaller bird figures, on base; iron staffs with birds figures on top can frequently be found on altars for Osanyin, the deity of medicinal herbs. Furthermore they are used as ritual object for the river and hunting deity Erinle.
H: 108,5 cm H: 42.7 inch
Provenance Gallery Schwarz-Weiß, Essen, Germany
Literature Eisenhofer, Stefan (Hg.), Kulte, Künstler, Könige in Afrika - Tradition und Moderne in Südnigeria, Linz 1997, p. 226 f.
Price: 350 - 530 € Unsold
Auction 53
Zemanek, Germany








 

  
YORUBA EISEN
Nigeria. H 71 cm.
Eisen.
Provenienz: Schweizer Privatsammlung.
opa osanyin-Eisenstab, der einst auf einem Altar für die osanyin genannte Gottheit der Heilkräuter stand.
Dargestellt ist ein grosser Vogel, der über kreisförmig angeordneten kleineren Vögeln thront. Das Vogelmotiv verweist auf die den Müttern und älteren Frauen zugeschriebenen spirituellen Kräfte: Sie konnten sich in Vögel verwandeln und als solche - je nach Gunst - Glück bringen oder aber Schaden zufügen.
Die Gestaltung des osanyin-Stabs stellt die nächtliche Versammlung solcher Hexen-Vögel dar. Der Stab ist somit nicht nur ein Symbol der Gefahr, sondern vor allem ein Zeichen dafür, dass die „Mütter“ den Herbalisten und sein Gehöft vor den nächtlichen Attacken böswilliger Hexen schützen würden.
Der mittlere Vogel wird häufig als ein Symbol für orunmila interpretiert, den Gott des ifa-Orakels und älteren Bruder des Medizingottes osanyin, denn das Orakel verschreibt auch die Medizin gegen Krankheiten. Die 16 kleineren Vögel stellen einen Bezug zu den 16 Abschnitten der ifa-Verse dar.
Weiterführende Literatur: Homberger, Lorenz (1991). Yoruba. Zürich: Museum Rietberg.

CHF 1.080
http://www.artauctions.ch/auktionen/alle-auktionen/auktions-objekte/auction/18.06.2012/pointer/6/sort/lot_nummer%3A1/mode/1/#sthash.I0TUtbrD.dpuf








 


Herbalist Staff - Yoruba People – Nigeria
Price: $1,950.00
These beautiful staffs were used by healers to cure sickness. Offerings were made to the staff to request the aid of Orisha Osanyin, the god of herbal medicine. The sylized birds at the top connect the heavens and earth, being creatures of flight.
43.75"H x 8"W
http://www.africaandbeyond.com/african-currency-herbalist-staff-yoruba-nigeria-iron.html








 

http://www.cc.gatech.edu/projects/hmuseum/images/themes/nature/herbalists_staff.jpg
Herbalist's Staff Iron
Yoruba, Nigeria
Fred and Rita Richman Collection, 72.40.83
This staff of forged iron would have been used by a priest of Osanyin, the Yoruba deity of herbal medicine. The birds represent elderly Yoruba women, called "our mothers," who have a great deal of spiritual power.
http://www.cc.gatech.edu/projects/hmuseum/themes/nature/herbalists_staff.html







 


Auction HVMC in Monte Carlo, 2013







 


Lot No. 38 + Yoruba, Nigeria: A 'Opa osanyin' shaman's staff made of iron.

Among the Yoruba such iron staffs are the insignia of shamans or magic healers.
They are surmounted by a large bird encircled by other birds, symbolising evil witches, entering houses at night to suck the blood of its inhabitants.
The healers fight these witches and drive them away. The above shaman's staff is wrought from local African iron and shows the classic stylistic canon of the 'Opa osanyin': The pointed staff is of square cross section, and twisted into a spiral at the top.
It is surmounted by a ring of 16 (!) small birds surrounding a large bird with a helical crest.
A very good, old piece by a Yoruba smith, very much in the traditional style. With an old, rusty, encrusted patina.
1st Third 20th Cent.; H:67 cm. (ME)

Specialist: Prof. Erwin Melchardt
realized price EUR 991,- estimate EUR 1.400,- to 1.800,-

Tribal Art Auction Date: 28.03.2013 - 14:00
Location: Palais Dorotheum
http://www.dorotheum.com/en/auction-detail/auction-9938-tribal-art/lot-1474441-yoruba-nigeria-a-opa-osanyin-shamans-staff-made-of-iron.html?no_cache=1&cHash=4a0717b7667cf4ec09d14f4262a08bdd








 


Fer rituel oiseaux Osanyin - Yoruba - Benin / Nigeria

Osanyin est la divinité des herbes médicinales.
Les fers surmontés d'oiseaux sont liés à son culte et plantés à la porte du devin.

Pourquoi des oiseaux ? Plusieurs interprétations :
- liés à des «étincelles de vie», ils représenteraient des têtes d'Osanyin (généralement au nombre de 16)
- mais ils peuvent aussi se référer aux pouvoirs des femmes appelées «nos mères» mais craintes comme des sorcières.
http://www.bruno-mignot.com 2013







 


Eisenstab " Opa Erinle", Yoruba / Nigeria, H 80 cm
http://www.galeriedogon.de/November09/Eisen.htm in 2013








 


276 Kultstab "opa osanyin"
Nigeria, Yoruba

korrodiertes Eisen, großer Vogel im Zentrum, umringt von 16 kleineren Vogelfiguren, auf Sockel montiert; von Vogelfiguren gekrönte Eisenstäbe findet man häufig auf Altären für Osanyin, die Gottheit der Heilkräuter. Außerdem werden sie als Ritualgerät für die Fluß- und Jagdgottheit Erinle verwendet

Ritual staff "opa osanyin" corroded iron, big bird in the centre, surrounded by 16 smaller bird figures, on socle; iron staffs crowned by bird figures are very often on Osanyin altars, the deity of medicinal herbs. Furthermore they are used as ritual object for the river and hunting deity Erinle

H: 54 cm

Provenienz German private coll., Galerie Schwarz-Weiß, Essen 1969

Vergleichsliteratur Eisenhofer, Stefan (Hg.), Kulte, Künstler, Könige in Afrika - Tradition und Moderne in Südnigeria, Linz 1997, S. 226 f.
http://www.tribal-art-auktion.de/de/catalogue152/d10_271/
2006
sold 330 euro hammer price







 


http://www.douglasdawson.com/africa/metalworks.html in 2014










 











auction by Quittenbaum







 


Gabon/Gabun

Mahongwe / Hongwe (Mohongwe) people from north Gabon/Gabun

Reliquary, funerary statue, named ossyeba

     

Bought in a gallery of traditional African art in the center of Dakar, capital of Senegal, in the year 2000.

NOT available

These objects are famous icons of African art. They are related to similar ones made by the neighboring people, the Bakota / Kota and the Fang. The object was placed on top of the box that contained the skull and bones, remains of an ancestor. Then it served as guardian. The reliquaries were kept outside homes and only the initiates of the lineage had access to this sacred place. The objects were used in the Bwete / Bwiti / Bwitti / Bwiiti / Bewiiti, the cult of the ancestors.
The geometric stylization makes these pieces valuable lasting works of art, even independent of usage, time period or region, like the admired objects from the Cyclades with a similar form.
The from looks like the head of an erect cobra.
The nose is reduced to a thin blade.
The mouth is covered with a square plate because "there is no message from the other world".
The figure recalls the traditional hairstyle of Mahongwe initiates.
This type of sculptures do not resemble particular ancestors/persons.
 

The WWW site of the National Museum of African Art in Washington, USA, http://www.nmafa.si.edu/pubaccess/index.htm in 2004, learns us the following:
"Several Bantu-speaking peoples, including the Hongwe and Kota peoples in Gabon and the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville), preserved and revered the relics of important ancestral leaders in the belief that their extraordinary powers survived mortal death. The relics, customarily the skull and certain other bones, and powerful substances were kept in bark boxes or woven baskets. Sculpted wood figures overlaid with metal were positioned on or tied to the reliquary to serve as its guardian. The creation of reliquary guardian figures (bwiti) ceased around 1930 as a result of aggressive proselytizing by Christian missionaries, the imposition of a new social organization centered on the Western-style nuclear family, and indigenous movements aimed at destroying certain local religious practices. Consequently, many of these sculptures were destroyed by burning or concealed by burial. Extant examples are rare."

"Among the Kota-Mohongwe people, it was the custom to preserve and cherish the relics of deceased ancestors. Bones from the corpses of family leaders were specially preserved, as were those from people of exceptional character and achievement: Women who bore many children, respected judges, religious specialists, and others whose support and guidance after death would be of help to their descendants. The cult of these relics was called Bwiiti. The relics were bundled together, sometimes in a bark container, sometimes in a basket. Lashed to the relics, or their container, was a figure, a wooden form covered with brass wire or strips cut from imported vessels and with sheets of brass or copper. Each reliquary was believed to work for the good of the family that possessed it. Most of the time it was kept hidden in the family heads house or in a special small building. The intercession and aid of the ancestors was sought to aid fertility, hunting, and other important undertakings. The figure on top of the reliquary had its own name. It seems to have been conceived as a protective figure rather than a representation of the ancestor, and it was believed to prevent other mystical forces from interfering with the power of the ancestral relics. At those times when the welfare of the village was at stake (the death of a leader, epidemic, during preparations for the communal Net-Hunt), each family took out its Bwiti and participated in a communal rite.
The metal surface of the figure was polished before important ceremonies. Its reflectiveness was associated with ideas of life and prophecy and was thought to deflect evil. At the initiation of Youths, all the local descent groups gathered together, and all the Bewiiti were brought out. The head of each lineage, dressed in an elaborate costume, danced holding the Guardian figures and container in his hands."
(source = http://www.nsu.edu/resources/woods/gabon.htm in 2005)

Famous pieces belong to the collections of the Musée du Louvre and of the Musée Dapper in Paris, France.

This kind of sculptures have been described and published many times, for instance in

"Among the real multitude of more or less realistic ancestor statues, designed to perpetuate the memory of the founders of tribes through family or community worship, there is a separate category of objects which united human remains, skulls and/or bones and a statuette or carved head. This ensemble is known to western collectors as a "Reliquary". It expresses forcefully the persistence and authority of the dead, who thus remain doubly present - on a material level, first, since the bones are preserved, and also on a mythical level, in the figurine which is not a portrait but an abstract evocation of the ancestor. It is the bearer of signs which all those who have been initiated will understand."
Black Africa, Laure Meyer.

A virtual museum of art in Gabon is available free of charge through http://www.legabon.org/livre/

The piece shown has a greenish patina.








 


Kenya / Kenia; Tanzania (East African coastal region)

Maasai=Masaai=Masai people

Gourd containers / vessels / bottles for milk and blood

not available

from a collector in Belgium









similar object was for sale in 2013:
 








 


North Africa

Terracotta painted vessel

bought on an auction of tribal art in Antwerpen, Belgium

available for sale








 


Uganda, Sudan, Rwanda

Hima=Bahima / Arua / Baganda=Ganda / Nyoro / Tooro=Touro=Batouro / Tutsi peoples

Wooden vessel with repair in aluminum


The repairs make these vessels attractive.
This particular repair is quite nice.

Not available.

Bought personally in a gallery of traditional African art in Dakar, capital of Senegal.

http://www.beprimitive.com/stories-descriptions/bembe-milk-vessels  in 2017:
For many tribes in Central Africa including the Bembe, Hima and Tutsi, cattle herding was an essential aspect of life. The animals provided transport, agricultural necessities, income and food. Their milk was especially important as a source of nutrition. They were collected in wooden vessels, cylindrical in shape among the Bembe and Tutsi; the Hima crafted them with a slightly flared base called Ekyanzi. The walls of the vessels were made as thin as possible to allow maximum storage, making them valuable objects that were well worth fixing when damaged. Fissures were repaired with small tabs of metal in a zipper-like pattern while larger cracks were covered with elegantly shaped sheets. The vessels were capped with tightly woven and colorfully decorated fiber tops while the bodies were occasionally incised with geometric designs reminiscent of tribal scarification marks. Though utilitarian in function, their sleek forms and design simplicity have made them attractive adornments for contemporary interiors.









 


Zimbabwe & Zambia & South Africa

Tonga / Batonga / Tsonga / Batsonga people

Seat / stool


Wood.
Nice patina.

Bought from a collector/dealer in The Netherlands, 2017-04.

Available: 85 Euro.

This type of seat is discussed by Boris Wastiau on p. 270 of the book:
JOHANNOT, PURISSIMA BENITEZ & JEAN PAUL BARBIER-MUELLER (editors)  Contributions by Nigel Barley, Daniel Biebuyck, Aboubakar Njiasse Njoya, Mary Nooter Robbins, Boris Wastiau et al.
Sieges d'Afrique Noire du musee Barbier-Mueller
Catalogue d'exposition à Toulouse en 2003
Editions 5 continents
2003
331 pages
ISBN-13: 9788874390861
ISBN: 8874390866
Text in French.
avec de nombreuses reproductions en couleurs
31 x 25 x 3 cm
hardcover
Couverture illustrée
Texte en français
110 color photographs (most full page) and approximately 185 black & white photographs and line drawings. Catalogue of an exhibition in Toulouse. Contributions by Nigel Barley, Daniel Biebuyck, Aboubakar Njiasse Njoya, Mary Nooter Robbins, Boris Wastiau et al.









Similar stool:


Tonga, Zimbabwe: a round Tonga stool with rhombus-shaped struts. An old Tonga stool carved from hard, light-coloured wood and dyed dark brown. With a round seat and base plate. Between the seat and base plate there is an elegant, rhombus-shaped strut. This is a functional, simple piece, which is beautiful in its simplicity, with some minimal pieces broken off due to age on the edge of the base plate and the seat. However, it has an extremely beautiful usage patina (on the seat). Height: 27 cm; diameter: 26 cm x 28 cm (the seat). First third of the 20th century. (ME)

Provenance: Viennese private collection.
Specialist: Prof. Erwin Melchardt

realized price** EUR 350 USD 400

AUCTION DETAILS Tribal Art Afrika, Orient, Asien, Indonesien, Ozeanien Date: 06.04.2017, 14:00 Location: Palais Dorotheum Vienna Exhibition: 01.04. - 06.04.2017

**Purchase price incl. all charges, commissions and taxes










 


Other objects / pieces have not been photographed and put in this WWW page, due to a lack of time

This document was updated most recently 2017-06


Feel free to contact me for additional information and appraisals: pnieuwen@vub.ac.be


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